The Hill’s 50 races to watch


Georgia 12th District

John BarrowJohn Jenkins BarrowOur democracy can’t afford to cut legal aid services from the budget Dem files Ethics complaint on Benghazi panel Barrow thanks staff in farewell speech MORE (D) vs Lee Anderson (R)

As a Blue Dog Democrat who survived the 2010 Republican wave, Rep. John Barrow (Ga.) is one of a rare species. And, like two years ago, keeping his seat in 2012 will mean distancing himself from President Obama, who lost this district handily in 2008. 

Republican challenger Lee Anderson, a state representative, has other ideas. His campaign is trying to link Barrow to Obama at every turn, even refusing a public debate until Barrow explains his support for the president — something the four-term Democrat says he’d do during a debate, but not before.

Much of the contest has focused on deficits and government spending, with Anderson characterizing Barrow as a “tax-and-spend” Washington insider. Barrow counters that his voting record — including opposition to the Wall Street bailout and Obama’s healthcare law — proves otherwise.

Redistricting has hurt Barrow, who has to convince unfamiliar voters that the “D” behind his name is not scarlet. 

The Hill rates this race as leaning Republican.